Math Can Be A Slippery Slope

| Learning | June 5, 2013

(I’m in math class. The students are a bit rowdy and not focusing on the lesson as they should be.)

Teacher: “You guys need to pay attention to this stuff. One day, knowing Calculus could save your life.”

Student: “Really? Give one example of how Calculus could save our lives in the real world.”

Teacher: “Okay, how about this scenario? Say you are walking down the street one day, hand in hand with your significant other. Suddenly, a man jumps out from the shadows brandishing a knife. With a wild look in his eyes, he screams, ‘You better know what the second derivative of x^3 + 2x^2 + 4x + 8 is, or I’m going to poke you full of more holes than a spaghetti colander!'”

Student: “That’s ridiculous. Like that is ever going to happen in the real world.”

Teacher: “Son, let me assure you… if there are any jobs in the world likely to cause a psychotic break, high school math teacher is at the top of that list.”

(The students spent the rest of the day focused on their lessons.)

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Do Juneau How Stupid You Sound

| Learning | June 4, 2013

(We are learning the names of countries and states in French. The teacher pulls down a large map of North America and begins lecture.)

Student: “Wait, where’s Alaska?”

Teacher: “What?”

Student: “Alaska!”

(The teacher points to Alaska. This particular map is large enough that it has Alaska in its proper place above Canada, as opposed to in a box separately.)

Student: “But Alaska is an island!”

(Everyone is confused and silent.)

Student: “Next to Hawaii! Haven’t you ever seen a map of the United States?”

(It dawns on us that many maps have Alaska next to Hawaii on a corner of the map to save space.)

Class: “You thought Alaska was an ISLAND?”

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Now Your’e Just Axe-ing For It

| Learning | June 4, 2013

(Our history teacher is notoriously terrifying. He gives students detentions for almost everything. He is also a Lord of the Rings fan. My sister is late to class.)

Teacher: “[Sister’s name], why are you late?”

(My sister takes a breath and puts her hands behind her back.)

Sister: “But sir, a student is never late. Nor is she early. She arrives precisely when she means to.”

(The teacher blinks for a second.)

Teacher: “Is that so?” *points at the board* “A wizard detention for Gandalf, then!”

(My sister writes her name on the board.)

Teacher: “Good. Now, then—” *spins around and looks at me* “You know what I don’t get? Gimli smashes his axe on the Ring, and it breaks. Then one second later, HE HAS ANOTHER AXXXE!”

Student: “Maybe he has a spare?”

Teacher: “What, a cart full of axes behind him? Anyway. We have a different schedule today, so your lunch period will be separated.”

Me: “Cut in half, as it were.”

Teacher: “Like an orc.”

Me: “…or Frodo’s finger.”

(Only three of the students plus my sister and I understood the references, unfortunately. My sister served about three seconds in detention before she was let go early by the teacher.)

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The Slow And The Delirious

| Learning | June 4, 2013

(For my film class,. we are analyzing Asian films—specifically drag racing/action films. Note: our group consists of four boys, and one female.)

Group Member #1: “What the h*** is that loud squeaking noise?”

(The mechanic smugly opens his mouth to answer, but before he can say anything, somebody else speaks.)

Female Member: “It’s just the compression brakes on the car.”

(The mechanic in our group snatches the remote and pauses the movie.)

Mechanic Member: “How the f*** you know that?”

Female Member: “I read.”

Mechanic Member: “But… you’re a girl!”

(Myself and the other two guys inch away from him.)

Female Member: “And?”

Mechanic Member: “So, you ain’t supposed to know stuff about cars!”

Female Member: “You do realize you’re throwing a fit over something trivial, right? I mean who cares what extra knowledge I have or why?”

Mechanic Member: “Because, if you women actually know stuff about cars it makes it harder for mechanics when you bring your cars in!”

Female Member: “So you’re mad because if I brought you my car, you wouldn’t be able to lie to me about what’s wrong with it?”

Mechanic Member: “Yes!”

Me: *to mechanic* “I know you gave me your business card earlier, but now I’m definitely going somewhere else.”

Group Members #1 & #2: “Me too.”

Mechanic Member: “Aw that ain’t fair! You’re takin’ business away from me! I’m a MAN! I deserve it!”

Female Member: “So you think you’re entitled to lie to your customers and engage in dishonest business practices, and you’re angry that you ruined it for yourself?”

Mechanic Member: “F*** you! It’s all your fault! You shouldn’t know stuff about cars!”

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Let’s Not Make A Tissue Of This

| Learning | June 3, 2013

Me: “Welcome to [university]. You’re speaking with [my name]. How can I help?”

Caller: “Hey, can I speak to the, um, uh, English department?”

Me: “A lot of our tutors are on holidays right now, so they aren’t in their offices. Is there anything I can help with?”

Caller: “Oh yeah, I was doing a course with you guys but didn’t get to finish it because I got caught watching p*rn on the computers there.”

Me: “… Okay.”

Caller: “But it’s alright though because I’ve got a computer at home now. Can I come back and finish my course?”

Me: “I’ll send an email through to them for you and ask them to contact you when they are back in office next week. What are your contact details?”

(The caller gives me his contact details.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll send this through now for you. They’ll be in contact with you early next week. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Caller: “No, that’s it.”

Me: “Thank you for calling. Have a lovely day!”

Caller: “I will. I’m off to use my computer now. Bye!”

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